“I want it white then pink and white again!” That was the quote from the young dancer who looked up into my face expectantly. In my mind I was thinking it might look more like a macaroon than a ballet tutu. I tried to guide her away from her design and suggested the use of pink lycra rather than white on the bodice but the young girl was adamant. It HAD to be shaded in the middle.
I had mastered my airbrush to give a light colour touch to the edge of the skirt previously. I had even managed to shade the centre of a structured tutu skirt by airbrushing and dip dying; but that was before I attached the skirt to the bodice. It was a different matter to try and give a similar effect to a stretch ballet tutu.
I decided to challenge myself and my abilities. I thought that if I made up a complete white ballet tutu in lycra. Then try and airbrush in pink the shaded ombre effect. Of course it could go disasterously wrong. I was aiming to spray fabric paint at a finished ballet tutu which might then end up in the dustbin!
I set up my manikin with a plastic protective covering and put on the tutu. Set up the airbrush with the mixed shade of pink and took a deep breath. By turning the manikin round while spraying the paint it turned out easier that I was expecting.
Finished with pink appliques and silver rhinestones, I think it turned out quite pretty. I think I will have to try this technique again and embrace the use of colour.